Saturday, 29 November 2008

Stolen Phone

Today my mobile phone (see right) was stolen without my knowledge, a pickpocket for sure. They are apparently everywhere in this city, students tell me on an almost daily basis how they witness or have been victim of a petty crime. It seems that today was my turn.

I am not that bothered about it really, it is only a phone (not an iPhone at least), and it has lasted me almost one year, which in the world of mobiles is not too bad. My phone was a Sony K810i, its selling point being the 3.2 megapixel camera -- most of my blog photographs have been taken using it. A sturdy little phone, its only drawback being the odd little joystick used to navigate the menu. Recently the joystick had begun to stop functioning properly too, so again, it's not a big deal that I lost it. I am only annoyed that somebody managed to steal it from me.

Precious memories of my phone and I

I have only ever had one thing stolen before in my life: my very first mobile phone, a Philips C12 if I remember correctly. I was about 14 or 15, and was playing the trumpet with an orchestra at a fair outside. I placed the phone in a plastic bag under my chair, looked at it 15 minutes later, and saw a great big hole in the bag and no phone inside.

Today, I spent a great deal of time with Kimi outside. I was carrying two bags, and had my phone in my coat pocket. First, we had lunch at Papa John's, I received a text while I was there; next I had my hair cut, I also recall reading a text message there too; afterwards we went to an extremely busy Watsons -- known as Superdrug in the UK -- walked outside for a few minutes, and came home. At this point my phone was no where to be seen. I rang my number to see if I could hear it ring, a message came on telling me that the phone was either switched off or busy. This is surely enough proof that indeed, the phone has been stolen.

It is Saturday night tonight, meaning that down town Wenzhou is at full capacity. People were brushing past me everywhere, and the unfortunate truth is, because I am a "foreigner" I am a visible target. Also, I have been reading a fair amount of information about the health implications of keeping a device that it emits radiation near to the southern provinces, so I have recently been trying to keep my phone away from my -- thief-proof -- trouser pockets. Unfortunately, while taking care of my health, I have not taken care of my personal security.

On the bright side, Kimi has kindly called up my service provider, China Mobile, and has frozen the SIM card. Luckily the thief had no time to drain the 50 RMB remaining on it, so I will get to keep this credit. Tomorrow I can retrieve a new card and my number will not change. Also, Kimi has offered to give me her old mobile phone (this one). It is ironic that she bought this phone after her previous one was stolen while we were in Hangzhou together one year ago, and now I will receive it after my phone being stolen too.

I think I will have to try keeping the mobile phone in my bag from now on....


大眼睛熊 said...

Ohh,my poor little thing~~ I knew something must had gone wrong when u called over Skype before,i hate these bloody thieves so much!! But at least ur old phone wasnt working properly anyway. U will meet ur Dopod S1 tomorrow,and im sure u will love it!! :D XXXXXXX

mabelp said...

Sorry to hear that, I always wonder why some people could be so professional on steeling things! Beware of your belongings when u go out and hope it's the last time for u to experience it!

michelle said...

sorry to hear that...never put your phone in your coat previous two phones were stolen in coat pocket!!!

Ihengsi said...

I had my wallet stolen in Paris last year. It's not so much of what's taken that bothers me. But rather this sense of being violated. Very unpleasant.

Look at the bright side. Now, you get a better phone from Kimi.

Anonymous said...

Don't rely on much help or support from the chinese police when your things get stolen...

A Nigerian teacher I know who had his laptop stolen in Taizhou was dragged in by the police and accused of having aids, raping chinese girls, being an illegal immigrant, not having a visa and all kinds of crap.

When my phone was stolen, I was asked to give my fingerprints at the police station...and I was the victim of a crime!

As long as the mentality of "It wouldn't have happened if you hadn't come here" still exists, then sadly I don't expect much to change.

The thieves are quite literally getting away with it, and the police and Chinese people just want to save face. Yet I was told the UK was an unsafe place because there were terror attacks in London, errrr, has there never been terror attacks in China? In a certain place that can't be mentioned? And rioting in another place that also can't be mentioned?

Ihengsi said...

Wow Alex, I have read many of your comments. China has its share of criticism but listening to you, it sounds like the whole country should be wiped out of the map.

Let me tell you a white face in small town China is much better treated then an Asian face in any small town UK.

Anonymous said...

Lhengsi said:

Let me tell you a white face in small town China is much better treated then an Asian face in any small town UK

Firstly, I want to say I am not anti china in any way! I lived there for three years, so how could I be?

I agree there is racism in the UK, especially in the smaller towns, but then it all comes down to education and upbringing. Every country has such problems I'm sure.

I'm sorry if I came across as anti china, just a bad day here.

But what I said about what happened to the nigerian guy in Taizhou, and to me in Shenzhen is both true.


Elwin said...

I'm really sorry about the phone. It happened a lot every year, especially around Chinese spring festival, because some un-local workers just need to "grab" some money to make a go home.

A couple of days before, one of my high school classmates just got his new camera stolen right at the day he bought it.

Again, I'm sorry about the phone, and take more care these days.

Ihengsi said...

Alex, no worries. We all have our bad days. Hope it gets better for you...

Chris said...

Wow, I was surprised to read my emails this morning and find so many comments on this post. Thank you for all of your best wishes :)

I was only talking about this topic with a few of the other teachers over lunch today. I've seen my fair share of police corruption here too. I am not even going to bother going to the police about it, it will just cause too much trouble.

It's completely true about how the "foreigner" is treated here in China. Just last night we had a boss of a restaurant buy us a ton of alcohol to impress us. I can't imagine it happening if the roles were reversed....which is unfortunate.